Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Winston writes again

Today's New York Times has yet another article authored by Winston (using various aliases) about how Russia is funding and arming the Taliban to murder innocent Americans, and that Trump has been told over and over since February (and maybe since 2018) about this, and the fact that it is clearly an act of war, but Trump has done absolutely nothing. The New York Times reiterates that this is clearly Dereliction of Duty, and the Congress has every impetus to remove Trump from office, but the evil Republicans, probably all Soviet agents, keep blocking the efforts of all the patriotic members of the Congress.
Great work, Winston!
Trump himself has said that Biden will win the election because the voters don't love Trump, and Biden has said he'll move promptly against the Russians who have already committed many Acts of War against the US.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Winston's Latest

The New York Times has another piece by Winston Smith that the evil Russians are proven to have created the Taliban and provided them ample resources to kill Americans, and it is time for daily Hate Minutes and Hate Week against the Russians.
Airstrip 1 wanted to maintain its Oceanic Hegemony. When the French were a challenge, they'd team with the Russian Empire, AKA Eastasia, against Eurasia. When the Russians seemed to a threat to the Raj, as when they asked the Ottomans if they could represent the Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire, Airstrip 1 joined the French and the Ottomans, AKA Eurasia, against Eastasia.
Oceania didn't get into the picture until after WWII.
Basically, in 1929, Herbert Hoover became president of Oceania and promised there could never be another stock market crash or another depression. So banks would loan just about anyone 90% of the cost of buying a stock. An investor put up $100 to buy $1,000 worth of stock, typically, 100 shares at $10 a share. If the shares went up to $11, the investor had a profit of 100%, but if the shares went down to $9, the investor got a margin call and lost everything (but the entire loss was the investor's, the bank didn't lose anything). Then, one day, stocks dropped 20% and banks no longer had enough money to cover their liabilities, and most American banks were insolvent, so large depositors lost a lot, and small depositors lost everything. Unemployment went to 25%. Hoover did nothing, and got booted out of office in the '32 election, and FDR took over, and gave comforting Fireside Chats and created some Workfare like the CCC and the WPA that provided some work and a little money to a small percentage of the unemployed, but large numbers were just going door to door begging for food. This started to turn around when Adolph Schickelgruber was elected Chancellor of Germany and the UK and France began placing orders for US military equipment (as did Adolph) and that put some of the unemployed back to work. Tojo also got the top political job in Japan. Between them, Adolph and Tojo, two brilliant applied economists, got the US unemployment rate down from more than 25% to less than 2%. Sadly, Adolph died in '45, and Tojo shortly thereafter, and all the top economists said the Great Depression would return, but much worse: people would long for the days when 75% of the workforce had jobs and only 25% were unemployed. What to do?
President Truman said, 'The leaders of the Axis dead? Wrong! Completely wrong from beginning to end. The real leader was always Uncle Joe, and he's still alive and still a mortal threat, so the war effort must not only continue, but increase! A lot!' And unemployment remained low. No postwar depression, since there was no real 'post' to the war. The shooting stopped for 5 years, until Oceania went to war with Eurasia against Eastasia in the Korean Peninsula.
Oceania, allied with Eurasia, has been fighting Eastasia with Cold War interspersed with shooting wars ever since 1945.
And then the jihadists stepped up to provide excuses for shooting wars after Eastasia collapsed in 1990.
Some thought the jihadists hated not just our own freedom, but also the Eastasians and their different brand of brutal dictatorship.
A couple of days ago, and again today, Winston wrote that Eastasia was always in control of the jihadists, arming them and funding them. And to make matters worse, Eastasia armed the jihadists with Oceania weapons and funded them with Oceania money. Some might wonder about that, but Winston assures us that Big Brother has irrefutable proof (classified Top Secret so no one who isn't a traitor would ever want to see any of it) that it was Eastasia that was really responsible for all the jihadist attacks, and Oceania must step up and do something about it.
Biden has said he'll do just that as soon as he takes office, and Trump has said he knows Biden will be the next president of Oceania, since the voters don't love Trump enough.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

More Work for Winston Smith

Once, history books were filled with the lies that the US and USSR were allied against the Axis, but, as I wrote, Winston fixed that, so now the US single-handedly freed most of Europe, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea from the Axis, which consisted of the Central European Socialist Party, the Soviet Socialist Party, and the Italian Fascist Party, while Japan had been overrun by the Axis that turned control of Japan over to the Communist dictator Tojo, who was under the control of the Soviet agency that was once the KGB and is now the GRU.
But other mistakes crept in after that. In particular, some history books wrote that the US created the Taliban to expel the evil USSR from Afghanistan. Of course, Winston has just run his correction in the New York Times, that proves that the Taliban were created by the evil USSR and are still on the Russian payroll killing US forces. The New York Times story is short on details, but, since it has been verified by unnamed Obama appointees to the US Intelligence Services and also some unnamed European Intelligence agents, we can be sure it is true, since no one appointed by Obama could ever tell a lie, and, given that all the proof is Top Secret, no patriot in the US, UK, or EU would ever want to see any of it, since the word of any Obama appointee is the most irrefutable proof that there is, and needs no further support of any kind.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

50 years to '84

It is said that the title, 1984, came from the fact that it was written in 1948, and George Orwell needed a future year, so he reversed the digits. It was published in 1949, and I read it for the first time about half way between the date it was written and the title year, but it was not until 50 years later that I understood.
In 1984, the world is divided into 3: Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia. The narrator, Winston Smith, lives in Airstrip One, a part of Oceania, and his job is correcting the newspaper morgues and the history books. It seems Oceania allies with Eurasia against Eastasia for awhile, then allies with Eastasia against Eurasia. When Oceania is allied with Eurasia against Eastasia, Oceania has always been allied with Eurasia against Eastasia, and, likewise, when Oceania is allied with Eastasia against Eurasia, Oceania has always been so allied, so Smith must correct everything that was written that contradicts the current state of affairs. And they keep him very busy.
When I read 1984, I naturally thought that Eurasia was the USSR and Eastasia was the PRC, so 1984 didn't make any sense: it was the USSR and the PRC that had always been allied against Oceania, i.e., the US and its allies and neocolonies, Oceania would never ally with the USSR against the PRC or with the PRC against the USSR. For that matter, neither the USSR nor the PRC would ally with free and democratic Oceania against the other Communist dictatorship.
After 50 years, I realised that, in 1948, there was no PRC. Eastasia was a fictionalised Russian Empire/Soviet Empire. Eurasia was more like the Central Powers of WWI, the German Empire, the Austrian Empire, and the Ottoman Empire. Airstrip One (i.e., England) feared the Russian Empire threatened the Raj, the 'jewel in the crown' of the British Empire.
But then came Napoleon, and Airstrip One was allied with the Russian Empire against Napoleonic France. Then, in the Crimean War, Airstrip One was allied with France and the Ottomans against the Russian Empire. Next, during WWI, Airstrip One was allied with the Russian Empire against the Central Powers. After WWI, Airstrip One allied with Germany against Stalin's USSR, until WWII, when Oceania was allied with the USSR against the Axis. And after WWII, Oceania was allied with West Germany and the rest of Western Europe against the USSR.
Just as Orwell wrote, Winston Smith has been very busy fixing the history books. The fact that Oceania was allied with Eastasia during WWII has been altered: now, seeing that the Axis (which included the USSR after the German–Soviet non-aggression pact of 1939) had conquered the entire Eastern hemisphere, the US saw its duty to freedom and democracy and single-handedly freed Western Europe and Japan from the Axis, but was unable to defeat the USSR which held on to the rest of Europe and Asia, plus parts of Africa and Latin America. Or it did until 1990, when the USSR finally collapsed, since it could not compete with Oceania, only to have Russia and the PRC continue their quest for global domination, a quest that Oceania must fight with huge military expenditures, vastly more than Russia and the PRC put together, just to preserve our freedom and democracy that Russia and the PRC vehemently hate.
Eastasia had imposed brutal dictatorships and state sponsors of terror on the impoverished (because of Eastasian theft) Grenada, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Libya, and Syria, but Oceania, making a huge sacrifice of its young soldiers and treasure, finally managed to liberate all but Syria, where it is making great progress toward the final liberation we hope will happen soon.
Sadly, the new Russian Empire obviously stole the 2016 election from St Hillary. St Obama told us so, and, since all his proof is classified Top Secret, no Oceania patriot would ever want to see any of it: after all, during the 8 years when Obama was our Big Brother, he could not tell a lie, so his word alone is irrefutable proof. Had it not been for Russian interference in the 2016 election, St Hillary had promised she would force regime change in Russia on Day 1, and everyone in Oceania deeply regrets that Russia prevented her election victory, since her Russian regime change would have meant we would have never had any worries about CoViD-19 (or anything else).

Friday, June 19, 2020

Putin's Lessons of WWII

There are 3 major histories of WWII. The first, the Churchill version, is that Churchill led the UK to victory over the Axis. Churchill did thank the US for providing a spot of help that shortened the war by a few months, but credit for the victory goes to Churchill's leadership.

The US version, of course, was that the Axis had conquered the entire eastern hemisphere when the US finally saw its duty and single-handedly liberated the eastern hemisphere from the Axis.

The third version is that the USSR did almost all the work of defeating the Axis.

Someone said the truth must be somewhere in the interior of the triangle formed from those 3 points of view. Putin, of course, wants the West to know and believe the USSR version.

Churchill always said history would treat him kindly because he would write it, and he did, and became the main English language source for WWII. But there are problems. Churchill demonised Chamberlain for appeasement. Only it wasn't appeasement. In Chamberlain's defence, I have to call a hostile witness who wrote, 'Shall We All Commit Suicide?' in 1924, saying that, if there were ever a war after the War to End All Wars, both sides would have MAD, and would use it. Only they didn't. But Chamberlain didn't know that. Churchill wrote that all nations would use the new aeroplanes like crop-dusters to spray new poison gasses covering all the population centres, gasses far, far more deadly than the ones used in WWI, and against which gas masks were useless, and this would completely depopulate all of Europe. So Chamberlain was pretending to appease Hitler just to buy time to put in the radar shield that ended up helping win the Battle of Britain (that might have been lost had Chamberlain gone to war in '38, along with the entire BEF that would have been lost if they'd been defeated in Czechoslovakia instead of at Dunkirk). But Putin accepts Churchill's demonisation of appeasement, then says the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was just the USSR trying to buy time after the UK and France appeased Hitler by refusing to fight the Axis in Czechoslovakia and made it clear they were terrified and would never challenge Hitler, who was planning World Conquest.

But Putin is worried about WWIII, as well he should be, and is trying to convince the US not to go there.

In '45, the US used its entire nuclear arsenal against Japan, which was already defeated, so there was no military reason to use that arsenal. But the USSR saw that a nuclear weapon was possible, knew about the unclassified Chicago Pile of '42, and made their own. (The US executed two people for giving the USSR the secret, but they probably didn't, and the USSR was an ally, not an enemy, at the time, so it wasn't technically treason; after the USSR broke up, some desperate, unemployed Russians said they had been spies who had gotten the secret from the two who were executed, for which they were very well paid, so that's not the proof many Americans think it is.) The USSR detonated their first nuke in '49. In '51, the US was at war in Korea, and was unable to defeat the People's Liberation Army. General MacArthur said the only way to win was to nuke China, and President Truman said, 'The USSR has MAD. You're fired!' With that in mind, WWIII has been avoided for 75 years. Only now, the top US military experts are convinced the US anti-missile defences mean that the Russians and PRC and DPRK no longer have MAD and so ...

Anyway, the US is cancelling all the Nuclear Bomb treaties and generally acting very pugnacious, so Putin wrote a 20 page paper called "The Real Lessons of World War 2" trying to convince the US to back off.

It basically says the USSR did 75% of the work of defeating the Axis, and Russia is not to be trifled with.

I doubt it will work. Biden has never seen a war he didn't like, and it looks like he's likely to win the election. And it's not clear what Trump will try since he's desperate to get re-elected.

So it looks like we're inexorably heading toward a Thucydides trap.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

CoVid-19 Update 1

A pandemic growing exponentially means that the numbers change rapidly. China had about a dozen sick and no deaths in December, 2019, 547 cases and 17 deaths by 22 January, about 10,000 cases and 200 dead by the end of  January, 2020 and 80,000 infections and 5,000 dead by the end of February (but very few deaths and new infections after February).

And the world now have a number of deaths that is far more than than the usual range for January through May, and all due to CoViD-19

As the US news says, exponential growth meant that, if Trump had called for a lockdown just one week earlier, he might have saved 50,000 lives, and the European countries could have reduced their number of deaths by 50% if they'd acted a week earlier than they did.

CNN blames both Trump and China for the 100,000+ CoViD-19 deaths in the US. According to CNN, China should have known CoViD-19 was deadly on 14 January, but they didn't do anything before 20 January (except try to keep the infection quiet, to deny that the novel virus was contagious and deadly). And they had a big Chinese New Year banquet for 40,000 in Wuhan that resulted in about 40,000 infections, so China could have saved most of the 5,000 lives lost if they'd acted just 6 days sooner.

Blaming China is very popular in the West. And China is guilty of two things: they knew that wildlife markets were dangerous in 2003 after the SARS outbreak, and they said they were going to ban all wildlife markets, but they didn't (they finally got around to banning all wildlife markets this year, and this time, they almost certainly mean it, and if China is serious about banning wildlife markets, there won't be any in China ever again). And, of course, China definitely delayed at least 6 days after they should have known better (and they admit to 3 weeks). But all other charges are obviously false.

Compared to the Pandemic of 1918 - 1919, the Spanish flu, CoViD-19 is, so far, not much. Trying to look up the Spanish flu, death estimates range from 17 million to 200 million (in other words, historians don't have a clue how many actually died, but they're sure it was a lot: the median guess is about 50 million). The world population today is 4 times what it was in 1918, so, even if one takes the lowest estimate of deaths as 17 million, that would be equivalent to more than 60 million deceased now, and the current number of dead is less than 400,000 (but it's still going up).

Of course, history says the Spanish flu had 3 waves, and not many died in the first wave, it was the 2nd wave when most died, and we're still in the first wave of CoViD-19.

The second wave of the Spanish flu started in October, 1918, so we won't know how bad CoViD-19 is going to be before 2021. But if it's anything like the Spanish flu, we'll have more than 65 million dead before June, 2021, based on the lowest estimate of how many died from the Spanish flu and the increased population (but it's not looking like that's going to happen from our current perspective, since the rate at which people are dying is already down from its peak; and we're all hoping we'll have some effective medicines for CoViD-19 before 2021). However, if there's a second wave like the Spanish flu before we have any effective medicines ...

Friday, May 22, 2020

CoViD-19 Pandemic???

Numbers turned out to be hard to come by. Trying to look up the 'normal' annual number of deaths from respiratory infections proved much more difficult than I thought it would be. For that matter, looking up the average number of deaths per month didn't turn up much in a Google search, only some data from before 2017. But, after gleaning all that Google could find, it looks like the total dead from all respiratory infections varies greatly year to year, and the total for this year is well within normal limits.

So I think it's clear that the White Horseman of pestilence is not the problem it's being presented as. Total CoViD-19 deaths in the US were mostly caused by the states that shipped old people with CoViD-19 off to nursing homes where everyone caught the disease, and, since they all had DNR orders, all were allowed to die. That's most of the CoViD-19 deaths in the US. The number of deaths in the US could be much, much lower if they hadn't maximised it to empty nursing homes of elderly residents, many with dementia, that many figured the US would be much better off without.

US newspapers have a problem: they hate China and they hate Trump, and say everything coming out of China is a lie and everything Trump says is a lie, so when Trump says China deliberately started the pandemic, and China says they didn't, it's hard to call both of them liars at the same time (but the establishment media are all trying their best). They're saying Trump is completely and totally responsible for every one of the 90,000 deaths from CoViD-19 in the US, and also that China is completely and totally responsible.

Gordon Chang wrote a book, The Coming Collapse of China, back in 2001 saying China would be back to peasants unable to grow enough to feed themselves in a very few years. Everything in the book was completely wrong from beginning to end, but no matter, he's now considered one of the best experts on China, and he says CoViD-19 has killed millions of Chinese (not the 5,000 they claim), that it started before November 2019 and was a major problem China covered up completely until January 20, 2020, and China deliberately sent people out to infect every other nation so China's economy would not be harmed by China having the only epidemic. Again, just about everything he says is easily proved false, but he's now hailed as the World's Greatest Expert on China. Chang is now saying China must acknowledge its guilt and pay reparations on the order of $20 trillion (for starters), enough to finally make his 2001 book come true. And Pompeo agrees with him.

So the White Horseman is now being used as an excuse to bring out the Red Horseman of War. After Vietnam, every president starting with Reagan started a shooting war in his 3rd year. Starting with Grenada, then Panama, two countries with People living in Darkness who were very profitably (for the US) brought the light. Until Trump, who started trade wars with everyone his 2nd year, but no new shooting wars. Yet. (He tried with Iran, but they refused the bait.) It should be noted that Obama wanted a trade war with China, but one where the US had a treaty with all the Pacific nations except China to cut China off as much as possible. (The treaty also said that most national laws would no longer apply to corporations, so it would not be possible to sue a chemical plant if it leaked and killed a bunch of people, thereby protecting the Important Rentiers of the World.)

Americans are strangely split: a little less than half figure Trump is one of our greatest presidents and Obama was one of our worst, and a little more than half figure Trump's the absolute worst and Obama was one of the best, when both pretty much did the same things. (OK, I must admit, Obama had a lot more style than Trump, a fact that really appeals to the Obamabots and infuriates the Trumpeters. But style ain't substance!)

Not much time left between now and the election. Trump keeps withdrawing from the arms control deals his predecessors signed, but not much sign he's doing anything provocative after withdrawing. Makes the US Defence Industry happy, and gets condemned by those that criticise everything Trump does, starting every morning when he gets out of bed on what they're sure must be the wrong side. But not all that much in the press about the US doing anything new after cancelling the arms control agreements.

And, after murdering an Iranian with a clever trap (an offer to meet MbS from Saudi Arabia to talk peace, on a specific date and at a specific time so he could easily be tracked and droned), not much more military action under Trump, except continuing all the wars he inherited from Obama.

But there's Chang and Pompeo who both say war with China is necessary to avenge the pandemic. And China ain't no Grenada or Panama.